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Home Go to the UK Approved IELTS tests for UKVI

IELTS for UKVI Overview

If you make a visa application to stay or move to the UK, you need to be aware of changes made by United Kingdom Visas & Immigration (UKVI).

In addition to the IELTS General Training and IELTS Academic tests, which you may already know of, a new test called IELTS Life Skills has been introduced.

Changes in the UK government policy have been effective from 6 April 2015.

IELTS for UKVI (Academic) and IELTS for UKVI (General Training)

The IELTS test you take – and the score you need – will depend on both your visa requirements and/or the requirements of the institution where you plan to study or work.

    IELTS Academic

    IELTS Academic measures English language proficiency needed for an academic, higher learning environment. The tasks and texts are accessible to anyone, irrespective of your subject focus.

    The Academic format is, broadly speaking, for those who want to study or train in a university that teaches in English at undergraduate or postgraduate level, or institutions of higher and further education. Many professions (e.g. medical, nursing, accounting, engineering) also require an Academic test result for registration purposes in many countries.

    IELTS General Training 

    IELTS General Training measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context. The tasks and texts reflect both workplace and social situations. The General Training version of the test is typically for those who are going to English-speaking countries to do secondary education, work experience or training programs. This version of the test is also often a visa requirement if you are planning to migrate to English speaking countries including Australia, the UK, Canada and New Zealand.


If you are taking the IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training test for UK visa applications, you will need to make sure that the test is taken at a UKVI approved test centre. IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training tests for UK visa applications and non-UK visa applications are the same – same content, examiners, format, level of difficulty, scoring and so on.

IELTS Life Skills

IELTS Life Skills is a test of Speaking and Listening, available at CEFR Level A1 and CEFR Level B1. It is designed to meet the requirements of UK Visas and Immigration for certain visa categories and other immigration purposes.

For more information about IELTS Life Skills, please click here

It is strongly recommended that you check with the English language requirements with UK Visas and Immigration.

IELTS test and score required for UK visa applications

Please note that if you need an IELTS test for UK visa applications, you can only take them at a UKVI approved IELTS test centre. IDP IELTS Test Centres are UKVI approved test centres and we offer all the approved IELTS tests for UK visa applications. To register for a test, please visit: here

Before you book your test, we strongly recommend that you check with the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) on the test that you will be required to submit for your application. Please visit Guidance on applying for a UK visa: approved English language tests for more informatio

 


As a guide, you can use the following table:

 

Visa description

Minimum CEFR level required

Skills

IELTS test and minimum score required overall and in each skill1

Tier 1 (General) visa

C1

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS - 7.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Register here

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa

B1

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS - 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Register here

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa

B1

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS - 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Register here

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa

B1

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS - 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Register here

Tier 2 (General) visa

B1

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS - 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Register here

Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa2

A1

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS - 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Register here

Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa

B2

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS - 5.5 overall, and in each of the four skills

Register here

Tier 4 (General) student visa - below degree level

B1

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS - 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Register here

Tier 4 (General) student visa - degree level and above and including some pre-sessional courses3

B2

Reading, Writing Speaking, and Listening

IELTS - 5.5 overall, and in each of the four skills

Register here

‘Family of a settled person’ visa

A1

Speaking and Listening

IELTS Life Skills at A1 – Pass4

IELTS – 4.0 in Speaking and Listening

Register here

Indefinite leave to remain (to settle) or citizenship5

B1

Speaking and Listening

IELTS Life Skills at B1 – Pass

IELTS – 4.0 in Speaking and Listening

Register here


1. Both Academic and General Training are accepted. The CEFR requirement for each skill must be met.
2. IELTS is accepted by UKVI at band scores 4.0 and above, equivalent to CEFR level B1.
3. Universities on UKVI’s list of Tier 4 Sponsors decide which exams to accept when a SELT is not required, and these may include IELTS taken at any of the 1000+ IELTS test locations.
4. IELTS can be used where IELTS Life Skills is used; candidates would need to get 4.0 or above in Speaking and Listening (scores for Reading and Writing will be ignored).
5. Currently, UKVI will also accept an Ofqual regulated test for this category. The test must cover Speaking and Listening at B1 level.

Please note that these changes do not affect the use of IELTS by people from the European Union, European Economic Area, Switzerland and ‘majority English speaking countries’ as defined by the UK Home Office (https://www.gov.uk/english-language).

Important note for Tier 4 Student Visa (without a pre-sessional)

People who are applying for a Tier 4 student visa to a university that is a Tier 4 Sponsor (previously known as Highly Trusted Sponsors) to study for a bachelor or postgraduate degree are required to meet the English language level set by the institution. All British universities and colleges accept IELTS results. This means that you do not need to take the IELTS test under UKVI specified condition, unless your institution has required you to.

Please check with the institution that you are applying to for their admission requirement. Visit:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/register-of-licensed-sponsors-students

Want to Study in the UK?

Our experienced IDP Education counsellor will be able to provide advice and guidance throughout the UK student visa application process.
To find out more about Studying in UK, please click here.

 

 

 

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